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[AK]Bribo
03-18-2009, 08:30 AM
My Dad just bought a new Dell Vista machine. First thing I have noticed is that the network performance is crap. He keeps getting page cannot be displayed errors in his browser, timeouts, and really bad download speeds.

When I do a ping test from the command window I see that every 4th packet is getting a really long response time. In addition to this some packets are timing out. He'll also get some messages in the ping report that his own IP address cannot be contacted. Really strange stuff that I've never seen before but I've not had a lot of experience with Vista.

He had the Time Warner cable technician come out and he checked the modem which he says is fine. The tech also plugged his own laptop in and the ping tests were just fine. This is leading me to believe it's something with Vista.

I have not called Dell support yet. Just wondering if anyone has had any issues or experience with Vista networking.

If I can't help him get this resolved we are either shipping it back to Dell or loading XP on it.

Any help would be appreciated.

Thanks!

[AK]Brorlis
03-18-2009, 09:11 AM
Bribo;91327']My Dad just bought a new Dell Vista machine.

Sorry ... and Sorry ....


On a serious note Dell is well known for crappy performance out of the box. They load unnamed amounts of crap on the PC that slows performance terribly.

Even with it being new, the first thing I would do would be reload it. With Vista or XP either one.

[AK]Nuts
03-18-2009, 09:21 AM
When you say network I'm assuming that you're going to an IP outside of your router?

Vista did have some problem with network performance across shares but I haven't heard of anything about slow internet throughput. IT had to do with the the firewall. Even if the firewall was disabled it was still checking traffic going through the box... you had to actually configure the firewall and then disable in order to restore performance. (CONTROL PANEL / NETWORK & SHARING CENTER / WINDOWS FIREWALL / ADVANCED / disable monitoring of the LOCAL AREA CONNECTION. Then go back and disable the firewall. Stupid, I know but it worked wonders for me and my three external shares.

If you want to spend an afternoon bonding with Dad, I strongly suggest a wipe of the hard drive and rebuild Vista from scratch that way you can get rid of the Dell 'features'.

[AK]Bribo
03-18-2009, 09:28 AM
He has no router. His PC is directly connected to his cable modem. I have an extra Netgear router lying around I might try installing. I really don't want to disable the Windows firewall without having a router on his network.

He's getting the ping problems even if I try to ping his own IP address or 127.0.0.1. Same thing when trying to ping the default gateway.

Maybe a driver issue? He's using the on-board ethernet jack.

[AK]The Beast
03-18-2009, 09:58 AM
We've seen weird stuff relating to the IPV6 functionality. Have you tried turning that off?

[AK]Bribo
03-18-2009, 10:18 AM
I disabled IPv6 in the properties section of the network connection. The odd thing is that when I do an "ipconfig" from the command line I still see that there is an IPv6 IP assigned on an adapter. Not sure why.

[AK]Clay
03-18-2009, 01:49 PM
Nuts;91333']If you want to spend an afternoon bonding with Dad, I strongly suggest a wipe of the hard drive and rebuild Vista from scratch that way you can get rid of the Dell 'features'.

As much as I dislike the Vista interface, the OS itself works pretty well. So I'm not sure Vista is the problem here.

I'm using an OEM version, so no DELL "features" slowing everything down. I would suggest a wipe and reinstall, but unfortunately most providers like DELL only give restore ability from a preset partition on the HDD, so doing so will just install all their crap again. So I'm not sure that's going to work.

[AK]StitchJones
03-18-2009, 02:44 PM
Does the DELL website itself has a updated driver you can download directly? As well as checking the manufactures website for a OEM driver. I think the Ethernet adapter in your Dad's laptop is a Marvell brand.

[AK]Bribo
03-19-2009, 04:29 AM
Here's the laundry list of things I'm going to try on Saturday:

- try new Ethernet cable
- check NIC adapter settings (try 100/full rather than auto)
- rollback NIC driver
- update NIC driver from Dell site
- update NIC driver from manufacturer site
- test disabling Windows firewall
- disable IPv6
- try installing a router between cable modem and PC
- call Dell support and see if Babu in Hyderabad has any ideas

The nuke options:

- buy a PCI Ethernet card rather than use the on-board Ethernet
- restore Vista from Dell restore CD
- install Windows XP (possible more problems though with drivers, etc)

Anyone have any other suggestions?

Thanks!

[AK]StitchJones
03-19-2009, 07:25 AM
Bribo;91361']
- buy a PCI Ethernet card rather than use the on-board Ethernet

Beware there is a small chance the main board may not have a PCI slot. You may need to obtain a PCI-e based card.

[AK]Bribo
03-19-2009, 07:40 AM
According to the docs I downloaded for his machine there are 2 PCI slots. But I'll confirm that before I make any purchase.

[AK]Rocks
03-19-2009, 01:21 PM
Try disabling TCP offload on the NIC card

[AK?]Azmodious
03-20-2009, 04:50 AM
Bribo;91336']He has no router. His PC is directly connected to his cable modem.

Very bad... any software with a major brand name has easy to get crack tools. You want something hardware in the middle. even a cheep old router is better then a software firewall strait into the modem.

As for the nic, I would have to say that Vista as an OS should not be your issue. And version conflict should be ruled out on a mass distributed item. So that leaves faulty hardware or corrupt software. Tring a new nic on the same system will let you know if it is hardware. and checking the event log may shed some light if it is a software corruption. Reloading the OS on ALL prebuilt PCs is a good idea. Every vendor loads up "Bloat-ware" onto the systems. "thats how you get your instant discounts, the software vendors are paying the vendor to put the bloat-ware onto the system" An OS reload will also help eliminate any OS corruption.

My recommendation..

1. Check event log for errors or clues.

2. try a different hardware NIC

3. Reload OS. (you probably want to do this no mater what)

[AK]Bribo
03-21-2009, 08:08 AM
FIXED!

After numerous updates to drivers and NIC settings I tried inserting a Netgear 4-port router between the cable modem and new PC.

Voila!

The problem simply disappeared. Not bad pings at all.

The problem must be with Dell/Vista machine negotiating with the cable modem. Might be the IPv6 stuff. Not sure. But Dad is happy now so I am happy.

Thanks for the advice.